Last year, we presented you with The Big Chill, an exhaustive review of some of the best rotomolded coolers on the market. Over the course of 10 days, we analyzed construction and design, drain systems, ergonomics, capacity, and structural integrity. We then filled them with ice, set them on a deck under the midsummer sun (90°F ambient temperature), and measured melt rates, interior temperatures, and evaluated insulation properties with a FLIR thermal imaging camera. When the dust settled, it was the Yeti Tundra 45 that provided the final cerveza fria.
I put the Tundra to use during the past year and am reassured we made the right decision in giving it the Editor’s Choice Award. Its rotomolded frame has proved tough as nails, ice retention has been better than any cooler I’ve previously used, and the dual-handle system makes for an easy carry. Although an interior basket is available, I found a plastic food-storage container that fits inside perfectly and keeps contents dry.
My only gripe has been the larger drain and dribbly plug; I would prefer a smaller, generic type to reduce drip. It should also be mentioned that capacity is 35 liters rather than 45, as the name might indicate. I’ve not had any grizzly bears rummage through my camp, but this IGBC-rated unit has certainly fended off a few coyotes. $350
The Yeti Tundra 45 is rated 4.4 out of 5 stars from 391 customer reviews on Amazon.